New Boating Law Exempts Most From Order to Take Safety Course
Anyone who turns eighteen in 2014 or later will be required to pass an eight-hour safety course to operate a boat, according to a law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on September 27.
The legislation signed into law by the Governor explicitly exempts anyone born before 1996 from the requirement to pass a boater safety course before operating a boat.
Those to whom the new law applies will have 120 days to take and pass a safety course after purchasing a boat.
Renters of boats are also exempt from the new law, said Roger Phinney, executive director of the Northeastern New York Marine Trades Association.
After a fatal boating accident on Long Island last summer, when a 34-ft boat carrying 27 passengers capsized, the New York State legislature came under pressure to adopt new regulations, said Phinney.
“Notwithstanding the fact that New York State has an excellent safety record, we were told some law would be passed and if we didn’t want to see something that could truly hurt the boat sales and rental business, we should get involved in the process,” said Phinney.
The Empire State Marine Trades Association and its lobbyist, The Capitol Group, negotiated with the legislators to produce a bill that would protect the interests of its members and the boating public, said Phinney.
“We all support boating safety, and this bill will have the least impact on recreational boating than anything else proposed recently,” said Phinney.
The bill signed into law by Governor Cuomo was sponsored by Senator David Carlucci and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, both of the Hudson Valley.